Sandwiched between South William and Pearl Street, the slender alley
today known as Stone Street is said to be the first paved street in
the city of New York.
The Dutch West India Company first sold what is now the Stone Street Historic District, bounded by Stone, Pearl, Hanover Square, and South William Streets, including Stone Street--originally called Hoogh Straet (High Street)--to European property owners in the 1640s. A few years later, Hoogh Straet was moved to connect with Brouwer Street which was paved in 1658. When the colony came under British control, Hoogh Straet was renamed Duke Street, in honor of the Duke of York. In 1794, it was renamed Stone Street.
Destroyed by the Great Fire of 1835, the area was rebuilt with four-story Greek Revival-style countinghouses, with granite bases of post-and-lintel construction and brick upper stories, erected for importers, dry goods and dealers and other merchants--many of which survive to this day.
At the beginning of the 20th century, major changes began occuring the district, initiated by the Eno family. In 1903, Amos F. Eno commissioned C.P.H. Gilbert to design new street facades on the building at 13 South William Street/57 Stone Street for his family's real-estate office. Gilbert's picturesque neo-Dutch Renaissance design features stepped gables and strapwork detail.
The area deteriorated in the 20th century as the maritime industry shifted locations. The southern portion of Stone Street between Broad and William Streets was closed and demapped in 1980. Coenties Alley, located between Stone and Pearl Streets, was demapped and relocated northward.
In 1995 Beyer Blinder Belle prepared a master plan for upgrading and economic revitalization of the area. With $1.8 million in financing secured from New York City and the Alliance for Downtown New York, Stone Street received a makeover, including a new street bed duplicating the original cobblestone paving and new bluestone sidewalks lined with traditional looking lighting fixtures. Business followed and today Stone Street boasts a "restaurant row" of dining experiences, including Smorgas Chef, Brouwers of Stone Street, Ulysses, and Adrienne's Pizza Bar,
The Stone Street Historic District was designated landmark status by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission in 1996.
Stone Street National Historic District #99001330 (1999)
Explore: February 20, 2008